RASHMI means Ray of Light, a name that inspires me to see light all around me. Just as light in nature constantly shifts, so also does my work change, from fiery abstracts celebrating untamed forces of nature to satirical cartoon strips on large canvases, to collages of photographic images of different parts of the world.
My work rests between two worlds: Bombay, India, where I was born, and America, where I currently reside. It reflects the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures, seen through my experiences in a wide spectrum of surroundings, and every new painting is a revelation of my inner self. My art is also based on a fascination with color, which borders almost on an obsession. This aspect of painting has always dominated the very essence of my creations, allowing me to experiment with different mediums, themes and styles.
My photomontages speak about history, humanity, and our place in it. They are amalgamations of reconstructed landscapes that illustrates cultural history and its decline as well as modern development. I merge abstraction with realism, built with naturally formed environments. The viewer must engage with the work or they will miss the details that reveal the optical play of visual depth, challenging perspectives and fictionalized worlds. It is essential to stand back and maintain a necessary distance to understand how the work multiplies spatially to create a complete image.
Over the past fifteen years, I have been concentrating on creating medium to large sized photo-collages reflecting real but imaginary places. Recently, my collages have taken a different turn, moving away from subjects of towns and cities and creating smaller collages, which form a part of a larger installation with a specific message. My new series, Modern Archaeology, works to make sense of our world today, which is filled with conflicting needs. As we move rapidly towards further automation, computerization and virtual realities, attempting to capture our world in our hand held devices, we simultaneously struggle to preserve our planet, our constantly changing social structures, and our abiding faith in an increasingly isolated society.
As technology makes products of success more abstract, I am drawn to the physical evidence of our not so recent past existence. Abandoned buildings, abused sidewalks, rusted metal, broken windows – all which were signs of our prior successes are also reminders of our current failures. Nevertheless, in these unexpected places there is beauty and history, similar to pottery shards, beads, relics or bone fragments found in an archaeological dig. I draw meaning from these hidden and influential stories that these artifacts tell us that I wish to bring to the attention of the viewers of my work.